Dick Dime brings big-city sensibity to Vail’s music scene
Vail, CO, Colorado
Richard Paradis goes by the name Dick Dime now. Some friends from Denver gave him the name years ago because he owned a five-and-dime store; to them it just made sense and the name stuck.
His name is only part of Dime’s charm. When word came that the Sandbar in West Vail had a new talent buyer, it was easy to picture an aging, bearded, fat, bald man with a beer glass perpetually in hand. So when an athletic-looking man dressed in biking shorts, a windbreaker and ski hat stepped out of the back room of the Sandbar with a glass of wine in hand, it was quite a shock.
Dime recently moved to Vail from Denver, where he had years of experience booking bands and entertainment at bars around the city.
The 43-year-old Dime credits Sandbar owner, Eric Leitstein, and manager, Rodney Johnson, for bringing him on board as the bar’s new talent buyer. He’s striving to make his own dent in Eagle Valley’s music scene by bringing acts that may not even have been considered five years ago. But according to Dime, the local music scene is changing, and he wants to help that change along.
We spoke with Dime in the Soap’s Up laundromat in West Vail as he folded his clothes in preparation for a trip to Arizona where he will compete in an Ironman triathlon.
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Dick Dime: This past year was a hard year for me. I went through a divorce with somebody I love dearly; (it) broke my heart. Around that time, my business was failing after 15 years … and I had to make a decision in life of what to do. One of my more successful friends suggested that I do what I know, because I didn’t know what to do … And it occurred to me that what I know is music and bars and so, lo and behold, there was an ad on Craigslist (for the Sandbar) and they brought me on board.
DD: I’m a big Kinks fan, always have been. I just like the raw energy and the guitar tones of The Kinks. I think it begins and ends there almost, it goes full circle, you know. I’m a punk rocker, I’ve always considered myself a punk rocker first, all right, and the guitar tones that the Davies brothers generated (and) The Velvet Underground picked up on and all the bands that I liked afterward really, it happened with The Kinks.
DD: I think I’d like to see people take chances with music because music’s fun and sometimes it should be a little dangerous and it should upset your sensibilities a little bit. And I think historically in mountain communities people like what they like and they’re afraid to take risks with bands, but I think that’s changing. Nowadays people want to see a techno act or a DJ or a hip-hop act or punk rock band … That’s what gets me off in music is just exceeding expectation in a way that they got something they never anticipated getting. They’re looking at the Sandbar just like they’re looking at a record store ” for something new, to hear something, to see something that’s going to change the way they look at music a little bit.
DD: We’re multi-faceted, which makes the dynamic really difficult on some levels because we’re a sports bar, we’re a grill and we’re a music venue. It’s difficult because you have to balance all those things and aspire to do them all really well. The Belly Up only has to be a great music venue, that’s it. We have to serve good food, we have to have a great happy hour, we have to provide great sports and then somehow, through all that activity in the daytime, at night go ahead and become a music venue at night … I don’t see us changing the way we do our business model. We’re going to be all those things and we’re going to try to do them all really well.
DD: I’m not afraid of entertainment so I could probably say no. That’s me. The people who try to keep me in line would probably say otherwise.
DD: I’m really, really, really passionate about my dog Ramone. He’s the coolest dog in the world. He’s my buddy, he’s my running buddy … I’m passionate about that. I’m really passionate about running and biking and triathlon right now and racing. I’m also a passionate collector of junk, whether it’s modern furniture or art or records.
DD: I think with the Vail music scene, it’s going to continue to evolve as a reflection of what’s happening in major metropolitan markets more and more … As far as me, I’m going to continue listening to music, loving music, hopefully being part of music in some way, directly or indirectly. Could be at Sandbar, it might not be. I’ll be running and I’ll be racing … I see myself perhaps being, I don’t know, maybe not, but I see myself being like a campaign manager for a political cause, organizing events and rallies and trying to lend my own sense of good in society.
High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or firstname.lastname@example.org.